30 December 2011
Exactly 168 hours (seven days) after it was launched into the orbit, Nigeria’s replacement communications satellite, Nigcomsat 1R, has been placed in its orbital home.
According to a statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the Nigeria Communication Satellte Limited (NigComSat Ltd), yesterday in Abuja, the satellite will remain in the orbit next 15 years-plus when its lifespan is expected to expire.
“The satellite was built on a DFH-4 platform and was successfully launched on a Long March 3B/E launch vehicle into the geo-transfer orbit (GTO) on Monday, December 19, 2011, from Xichang satellite launch centre in China.
“After the separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle, was injected into the geo-transfer orbit and subsequently began its journey to the final orbital position of 42.5degree East in the GEO-stationary orbit,” it explained.
This operation, according to the statement, which is referred to as “Launch and early orbit phase” (LEOP) operations of the satellite, lasted for one week with about five orbital manoeuvers carried out successfully.
LEADESHIP recalls that the satellite was placed in its final orbital position of 42.5 degrees East at exactly 00:58 GMT, on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.
The satellite now positioned in the GEO-stationary orbit is within the view of the two NigComSat Ground Control Centres based in Lugbe, Abuja, and Kashi, China, respectively.
NigComSat-1R, is now being monitored and controlled from the Abuja Ground Station from where the data from the satellite are presently being received real-time.
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